Counselling, psychotherapy and supervision in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
I am a psychotherapist and counsellor with a private practice in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. I am a senior therapist at the 'Mindtalk' group in Market Harborough, and also provide professional group or individual supervision to other therapists. I work with sensitivity and respect together with you, to offer help in the face of particular problems or the most prolonged and intense difficulties.
For example, I work with the following issues:
Stress and anxiety
Problems with confidence, self-esteem
Dealing with loss
Family and parenting difficulties
Problems at work
Eating disorders, self harm
Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress
Unresolved issues from the past, abuse
Dreams and nightmares
I provide caring and sensitive counselling and psychotherapy for a wide range of problems and blocks and use psychotherapy for growth and life's enhancement. My approach is transpersonal and integrative, including the use of EMDR when appropriate - see the FAQ page for an explanation. You can see a video of me introducing myself on YouTube.
Counselling and Psychotherapy during this time of Coronavirus
At this time when there is so much shock, alarm and weirdness around us we strongly recommend continuing or starting with sessions as a reflective space. Research shows how important it is to have that grounding experience and people who do are more resilient.
At the moment the official advice is to avoid physical proximity to others where possible so face to face sessions are best suspended. I continue to practise by using FaceTime, Zoom (a videophone platform like Skype but more secure), or telephone. I have used these methods when necessary for several years and they are very effective.
Whichever remote communication method is used, it is very important to provide yourself with a completely private, indoor, secure location for the session, one where you know that you will not be disturbed, distracted or concerned about being overheard. A car in a public space is not secure enough. It helps if you are able to be hands free - so to use a laptop, or prop your phone on a surface so you don’t have to hold it throughout the session. Check that devices are fully charged or plugged in. Where consistent wifi speed is a problem, I have found using 4G with FaceTime very reliable.
Very quickly this method of meeting can feel natural and as close as being together in person.
If you live or work in Leicester, Northampton or near Market Harborough in Leicestershire and are interested in counselling or psychotherapy, supervision or EMDR, to discuss how I might be able to help you please contact me and I will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.
My approach is guided by you, and depends on trust in the relationship. Sometimes therapy looks like 'just talking' - although a great deal is going on in that process, with the client doing most of the talking as they explore their thoughts and feelings about the issues they bring.
As counsellor and psychotherapist in Market Harborough between Leicester and Northampton my practice is located in discreet cosy rooms with easy parking right in the town center.
Below I outline two other aspects of the way I sometimes work.
Working through body awareness
Increasingly, I have become convinced that an effective, gentle and profound way to access real and permanent change is through working with the way feelings and traumatic reactions become trapped in the body. Many of us go through life in the mistaken belief that the key to control how we feel is by the power of our rational mind. However our mind-body link is much more complex than this. By gently guiding the client to bring sensations to awareness as they are sharing their thoughts and feelings, and working with them positively it is possible to create release from trauma which may have unconsciously been trapped for years. How this looks is like the client simply sitting in their chair, concentrating on the sensations in their body, and sharing with, being watched and guided by the therapist. The release of previously trapped feeling is experienced as a sense of gentle expansion, of awareness of the wider room and the world outside in Market Harborough, and a shift to lightness of mood, pleasant humour and a sense of connection both inside the self, and to the therapist and others. There is a wealth of neurological research - polyvagal theory is one angle, Somatic Experiencing another - to explain and support why and how this works.
Working with dreams and images
Have a look at my Articles and Workshops page to read about the value of working with dreams. Their powerful images, feelings, and their freedom from the 'sense' imposed by your consious self offer a way to connect with yourself - that 'aha! awareness - that we simply can't gain by ourselves or with the aid of books. The purpose is not to impose a generalised meaning, but instead to find the meaning that is unique to the individual, through exploring by way of the dreamer's own associations. Often the deep meaning is accessed by making contact with with the essence of feeling in the dream. When a deeper level of connection with self is made, change happens.
I regularly run a series of experiential workshops for counsellors and therapists in Market Harborough and Little Venice, Central London, on Working with Dreams.
Endorsements: "Brilliant day, enjoyed it, left feeling uplifted, not overwhelmed. Pace of day was just right." "Really enjoyed the day and powerful learning", "Stimulating and valuable content, practical and helpful in my work", "Very useful content. Great to put into practise.
Do enquire if you would like to know more. For counsellors and psychotherapists and those in training.
Working with Sandtray and Symbols
I also offer Sandtray therapy for adults. This is a creative, gentle and profound way of exploring our our life experiences, how we are feeling, our inner world and our relationship with ourselves and others. When the sandtray is used change happens.
There is a collection of miniature figures and objects from fantasy, nature, spirituality and mysticism and real life. The sand itself can be used wet or dry, moved or moulded into shape or left almost untouched. A story can be created, an experience revisited, a problem explored, an idea or feeling expressed. Situations are often seen afresh; blocks give way. There are no rights or wrongs or judgements with this way of working: it an often feel creative or playful. No skill is needed - anyone can do it, and everyone can benefit from this approach, old or young.
It brings together the work of the early psychoanalysts with the most recent neuroscience breakthroughs in understanding how the body and mind are interlinked. I am always amazed and moved by what emerges through ‘work’ in the Sandtray.
The Power of Relationship in Therapy
Scientific research increasingly indicates that there are sound neurological reasons why, for helping us work through and resolve states of high arousal and intensely uncomfortable emotion, human interaction itself is a practical and effective therapy.
Many people have been extensively traumatised in their childhood by their family experience. One aspect of the damaging effects can be that many find themselves stuck or out of control in their ability to express their feelings because they were not supported in that process in early life. For whatever reasons of their own, their parents consistently shamed, abandoned or attacked them for expressing their emotions.
As a result, whenever the adult has the urge to say how they feel, their inner critic steps in and, with self-contempt, kills off their instinct to express themselves. At an early age their voice was silenced and often along with it the ability even to recognise what they were really feeling. The feelings became buried somewhere deep within, disconnected from the other functions.
Another way this damage may manifest is when a person finds themselves completely overcome and ruled by their emotions, to the extent that they are unable to use their thinking function at all, and unable to name what they are experiencing – it simply IS, and it overwhelms the body and mind.
So a fundamental aspect of counselling and psychotherapy is to provide the conditions whereby the client may recognise, name and express not only what they are thinking, but also what they are feeling and experiencing in their body. Notice I say ‘may recognise’ – often this aspect of the work is most challenging and takes a long time to even begin. The defences against the risk of shame, abandonment and attack are justifiably going to be high. Hence simultaneously the work will involve recognising the client’s inner critic and how it works to sabotage freedom and change.
How do we provide those conditions that support the repair of damaged feeling processes? Through trust, the co-operation and interaction between client and therapist, through compassionate reflection and responding, mirroring and authentically shared experience of the matter at hand, of the moment itself in the body, mind and emotions. It sounds so simple: in healthy parenting and upbringing it is natural. Yet when it fails, the damage is deep and so harmful because it sabotages the person’s ability to know what they feel in the moment, and to experience a sense of ease and connection both within themselves and with others.
What this might look like in the therapy room is the client, trusting the therapist and feeling safe, in a painful remembering of some situation from the past. They are in a state of contraction as they talk about it, express their complex response to it, they may feel very much their younger self – full of hurt, angry, outraged, painful grieving. The therapist meanwhile is openly receiving, hearing, responding, reflecting and compassionate. As the therapist is thinking, feeling, fully present and processing the client’s experience with them, a process of integration and of transformation can happen.
The client may then shift back into a sense of expansion, feel more aware of the present moment, of the room, the world outside in the street, and feel more connection with the therapist. And this in turn may be followed by a refreshing sense of lightness, a sense of pleasant (not sarcastic or undermining) humour expressed with a joke, relief and pleasantness. The patterns of neural activity will have been loosened, trapped energy will have been released and the client will experience this as new energy, a sense of freedom and flow. All this is achieved through the process of therapeutic relationship.
This Month's Blog: For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past:
For everything under the sun there is a time.
This is the season of your awkward harvesting,
When the pain takes you where you would rather not go,
Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place
You had forgotten you knew from the inside out;
And a time when that bitter tree was planted
That has grown always invisibly beside you
And whose branches your awakened hands
Now long to disentangle from your heart.
You are coming to see how your looking often darkened
When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love,
How deep down your eyes were always owned by something
That faced them through a dark fester of thorns
Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong;
You could only see what touched you as already torn.
Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning.
And your memory is ready to show you everything,
Having waited all these years for you to return and know.
Only you know where the casket of pain is interred.
You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering
And according to your readiness, everything will open.
May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide
Who can accompany you through the fear and grief
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.
As your tears fall over that wounded place,
May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.
May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound
So that for the first time you can walk away from that place,
Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed,
And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.
My counselling and psychotherapy, supervision and EMDR are based in Market Harborough in Leicestershire within easy reach of Leicester, Northampton, Peterborough, Kettering, Corby, Uppingham, Melton Mowbray, Oakham and Rutland.
BACP registered counsellor and psychotherapist – UKCP accredited